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tv   The Dylan Ratigan Show  MSNBC  June 30, 2010 4:00pm-5:00pm EDT

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shenanigans being pulled by democratic leadership, republicans, the obama white house and, of course, the wall street banksters who give them all the money so they can all keep their jobs. i think wall street is the only one that has figured out if you buy them all you don't have to worry about it. the first here, the joke that is the financial reform bill that doesn't any of our problems and perpetuates the theft. the house moments ago voting to pass this comedy which includes yet another punch line in the face, if you will, for all of us. you won't believe it. you're going to say no way you're telling the truth, dylan, because i believe in obama and i believe in the democrats. there's no way, dylan. check my facts, please. i would love to be wrong. lawmakers led my chief bankster chris dodd today letting the banks off the hook on the $20 billion bill which would be the cost of implementing this non-reform. instead of making the banks pay to in the reform themselves, they are going to use your money, t.a.r.p. money, to cover
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the cost. believe it. scott brown made it happen. the banks would have to pay for it. they are not going to do it. you're going to pay for it and still steal your money. think of me as punching you in the face, taking your money and punching you in the face again and telling you to shut up. that your current government. how about the white house working aggressively with the banksters to help water down the bill so that banks can better gamble with your money and better hide their risk in a way that lets them them jack the leverage, steer it and then say it's too big to fail. tim geithner sided with senator scott brown, another patriot, to carve out a massive loophole in the volcker rule so that the banks can continue not only to gamble with your money but to use hedge funds and private equity to hide risk at quarter's end a la repoe 105 in order to keep inflating bank profits in a
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bank government ponzi bubble funded by you, the foolish taxpayer, who continues, a, to pay taxes and, b, to pay your bills to a bunch of people who are stealing your money. believe it. who said republicans and democrats couldn't work together to get things done? see, here we go. they are working perfectly well to screw you. but wait, it gets better this. next one is so good you just can't believe it. but you might have to. the aig bailout that got goldman sachs paid 100 cents on the dollar in the back door bailout to cover their bets, remember the abacus deal where they would innocent a nonsense security, design it to fail and bet it was going to fail, kind of like selling a car with no car brakes and buying insurance, remember the whole thing? well, the "new york times" gretchen morganson and others doing an extraordinary job on this pored through hundreds of pages of documents and published a story today in which they learned that the point man on the bailout, the man who decided or influenced the decision to go with 100 cents on the dollar was a previous goldman sachs
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executive who still held goldman sachs stock at the time. that's right. dan geuester is his name, decidd to bail out aig on 100 cents a dollar without preventing another certain economic doomsday if we don't give them what they want with no terms whatsoever and continue perpetuating the accounting fraud for years to come. geithner and his friends in fact chose that plan and then had aig sign a waiver taking their legal rights to sue in case there were fraudulent securities away. believe it. seas a sad day for this country what that's true. one last one for you. news out that the president is not happen we all this, that
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congress hasn't gotten the job done on a wall street bill because they haven't included transparency. they haven't included capital requirements and they haven't ended the practice of the cops, ratings agencies and regulators aspiring to get jobs work for the crooks, so the president is taking november avenue, a simple and el advantage avenue as authored by jim grant in "washington post" on april 23rd. the president calling big bank compensation to be directly tied to the capital structure of the bank. this one sadly is an or not. however, everything else is sadly very true. joining us now vermont's independent senator, bernie sanders. i -- i did this schtick her at the top because if i didn't see it with my own eyes i wouldn't believe it was happening, but it is happening. to what extent is there an opportunity of good guys, of
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which i would consider you to be one, and there are others, more than people might think, to actually improve this bill over the next two weeks, or is it all downhill from here? >> well, it's a bad situation. we have with senator byrd's death 58 democrats. we have some who may not vote for the bill and we have very little support from the republicans. the result is that -- that majority leader reed has got to craft together a bill of 60 people with very conservative support, and i think that the end result will be nowhere near as strong as i would like to see. >> is there anything people can do. >> yeah. >> i feel like -- i recognize time is a lishlgts but the time also is theoretically an opportunity, no? >> you're absolutely right. the bottom line is wall street is the most powerful special interest in the united states of america amidst a whole lot of other special interests. they spent last year alone $300 million on lobbying in order to
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get deregulated so we can have the disaster that we had a year and a half ago. they spent $5 billion over a ten-year period, and i think what the american people from coast to coast have got to say enough is enough. we cannot continue to allow these people to rip off the taxpayers and congress and the senate in particular has got to pass strong, strong, strong legislation. >> so you and i both know we could sit here for hours playing whack a mole with bankers on leverage, on transparency, on who works for who and who can trade what and we'll ultimately lose. they will always figure out some other way to rig the system. however, there is an -- there is an alternative to playing whack a mole with the bankers and it was authored, mentioned it very many times eloquently and elegantly by jim grant in "washington post" on april 23rd where he said why are we going to play whack a mole with bankers. if they create risk for a living they have to own the risk.
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it's law in brazil, used to be the law in our own country, solomon brothers, et cetera. let the senior financers keep their salaries and bonuses, let them do with their banks whatever they will. if they want to gamble, blah, blah, blah. if the banks fail -- this is the only country where bankers are allowed to do this and transfer the risk to the state, let the bankers fail, let the value of their houses and yachts, why does that very elegant solution which would wipe out the whack a mole -- we could move to the next thing on the list if we did that, do that at a morning breakfast meeting and be talking energy by lunch. >> what you're sake is heads they win, tails they lose. they make all the profits when things go well and speculate when things go bad. taxpayers pick up the burden. and that is exactly what the problem is. the reason we haven't reformed that is, as i mentioned before, you have the most powerful and wealthy special interests in the world on wall street. they are using all of their
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might to make sure that we do as little as possible so they can continue to engage in gambling and speculation with taxpayers picking up the bill. having said that, i think this bill is a step forward. there are some good things in it. it is disappointing to me that we can't get more than four republican votes to support anything that is halfway decent, and i'm not sure that we have four to stand up to the banks as well. >> one last thing. this is a research from goldman sachs out to their clients, evaluating the proposals in washington. here's what goldman is telling their clients about the bill. goldman saying to their clients in, a letter, that the bill is, quote, more manageable than wall street had feared because the rules are vague and it allows regulators to write the rules. we all know how well that worked. it almost seems like this is the exact opposite of what jim grant is suggesting. >> well, it's the exact opposite of what many of us wanted. at the end of the day, when you
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have four large financial institutions that have assets worth half of the gdp of america, you know the way you deal with too big to fail, you break them up. when people are paying 25% or 30% interest rates on their credit cards, you've got to have a cap on interest rates so there are a lot of things in this legislation that did not take place. there are some positive elements, and i hope at the end of the day, if we rally the american people, we can yet support and pass a strong bill. >> sadly this system ensures such a negative fate for the vast majority of americans, i fear they will have no choice but to rally. hopefully sooner than later. senator, thank you so much. coming up here on t"the dylan ratigan show", breaking news out of the gulf of mexico, hurricane alex pushing more oil on the coast. hours away from landfall. the biggie here is the retraction of some of the collection and other equipment
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around the deepwater horizon. and new details about the femme fatale and the rest of the accused russian spies. one of them now on the lam. my question to you, if you're a spy, aren't you supposed to get classified information, and if you never got classified information, aren't you a wannabe, pretending it to be a spy? have you really done anything? get my point. day three of fix it week. we're turning the garage into a classroom for a look at education. we need, as you know, as our kids prepare for what's to come. in fact, our future is dependant on our country's ability to prepare our young people for what is to come. so why does it seem like our education system is stuck in the same place as our power grid under dwight eisenhower in 1950. it's like color tv stuck in black and white. a look at some possible
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solutions when we come back. transform plain old ribs into these fall-off-the-bone honey bbq ribs. the secret's in the sauce,
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all right. welcome back. a little breaking news first on the hurricane alex, is its name. creeping towards southern texas right now along the coastline. 80 miles per hour the wind speed pushing oil as we would expect from the gusher that continues each day and each night to pour oil into the gulf of mexico, now on to beaches and roads. alex may increase to a category 2 before it reaches shore late they are evening or early tomorrow. flooding is expected to be the biggest problem associated with this particular storm. it will also force bp to delay its ongoing efforts to attempt to clean up the oil that continues to spill into the ocean, both as a potential deep water lake and obviously surface
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issues. the weather channel's jim cantore joins us from south padre island, texas, with more. how bad is the storm, jim, and what is the context of the storm relative to the spill? >> reporter: well, it's not good. i mean, you can see behind me here, obviously this is much closer, if you will, to the center of the circulation. just a wash tub out there, dylan. the ocean sun controllable right now, so you can just imagine what all the propagating waves are doing up in louisiana. wind gusts offshore over 50 miles an hour today so the little booms that are out there won't hold back the oil or wave action that we have in through here. the good news is the dunes are holding it back here on south padre, unless you have a slice like we have in front of this hotel, the waves pretty much running up to the beach. the good news tomorrow morning high tide expected around 8:58 p.m., the storms coming in tonight between 9:00 and 11:00 local time at low tide so that's a good addition. these beaches will take a
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pounding because this is such a large circulation it will last right in and go all day thursday and potentially into friday with the squally weather, the rain and bashing from the gulf of mexico in through here. 20-foot seas offshore. winds here at south padre gusting as high at 54 miles per hour. south padre reporting sporadic power outages, but we're expecting winds that could gust to hurricane force a little bit later on tonight. quickly, back to you. >> can i ask you a question, jim. there's been speculation or anxiety about how the ocean or the gulf behaves in the context of a hurricane, particularly because of the fear of a lot of oil or tar or some oil component at 1,100 meters depth in the gulf of mexico. how disruptive is the storm, and will it in fact potentially bring whatever is at 1,100 meters up to the surface? >> reporter: that is a great question. you know, because when you have a steady state wind like we've had out of the south over the spill, you know, you tend to kind of push away that top layer of water, and what -- what gets
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lost, if you will, has to be replaced so what's going to be replaced will come from beneath allong what is potentially beneath to come up. now, is the subsurface oil right there just below the surface? is this going to be enough agitation to pull that up. that's going to be a great question. we don't know that because we don't know how deep some of that oil is but it won't help. i can tell you that. if you take the situation like this and you start making a wash tub and start peeling off the top layers, eventually you'll get to the middle of the onion and, unfortunately, that means more oil potentially coming to the surface as we go on through the next 24 to 48 hours. >> thank you for your reporting on the weather and for your little bit of analysis there as to the behavior of water in a storm. appreciate it. jim cantore. turning now to the ongoing spy saga out of russia, one of the 11 wannabe spies is what i call them arrested in the alleged espionage ring has gone missing now after being released on bail in cypress. i say wannabe spies because after a decade under deep cover the suspects never sent any
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classified information back to moscow which led me to pond they are morning whether these were actual spies or people that were playing spy but not actually coming up with anything. the information they were tasked with collecting like political policy and gossip could in fact have been more easily found with a google search perhaps than by virtue of spending spies all over, and this youtube video showing one of the suspected spies doesn't exactly cry out espionage as it's posted on a public site for the world to see. now, while they are not facing espionage charges, the group is charged with failing to register as foreign agents which is a crime, and it does carry up to five years in prison. joining us now, nbc news investigative producer bob windram. the point you were making to me before we went on air is whether they got classified information or not, this is more than anything a reflection of the bureaucracy of russia and the legacy espionage infrastructure. >> right. this may have been a program that produced results during the soviet era, and it may have just been continued because this is
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what bureaucracies do. they continue race. now the question is whether the svr, the successor to the kgb, will look at this and look at a risk benefit analysis and say, wait a minute. we lost a lot in this, and did we gain anything, and there is something in the back of my mind that says that that may very well have been what the fbi and what the u.s. officials wanted. they wanted them to get involved in this cost benefit analysis. >> and basically -- humiliate them in a sense. say you've got all these people. this is a joke. we could have found it on google. what are you people doing? >> exactly. i think if not -- even if they couldn't have found it on google, for example, if you or i had -- had been approached by any of these and sat down and had long conversations and a relationship, there's certain analysis, certain insights, certain information that we have -- >> just the intimacy of that relationship. >> would have provided them with
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something to send back. it doesn't always have to be classified. one of the big things is is it current because you're not always sure what's online is current, and i think that that's part of it as well. it's hard to -- for us to figure right now just how important it was to them, whether it was -- whether it was something that was giving them any benefit, but right now in terms of classified information, no. >> i've got to let this -- i've got to wrap this up. do we have a bureaucracy like this in other countries? will we see ten american spies pretending it's 1980 as well? >> i was told 15 years ago there's a program within the agency where there were people who never showed up at langley, who were trained outside of langley, who were recruited outside of langley for that very purpose. they didn't want them to be associated with the agency, so i'm sure there are some. the question is are they in places like north korea, iran or are they in places like russia where they may not be as valuable? >> bob, a pleasure. thanks so much for the analysis.
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we're hitting the books in fix it week with a focus on schools. how do we bring fairness and smart investment to our nation's education system in order to preserve the future of this democracy? first, taking a giant step towards the jetsons, while one part of our society moves forward, the other, again, stuck in 1950. this is going to be an interesting juxtaposition. we'll start in the 21st century. the feds just approved that car right there. it flies. it's cool. we're talking about it in by the numbers after this. i'm that guy that doesn't take directions.
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our raise your rate cd gives you a great rate... ... and the opportunity to raise it to an even better rate... ... one time over the course of your term. try us at allybank.com. all right. today's by the numbers, a flying car, my friends, has arrived. it has faa approval. in fact, can you even place your order. can i not express how very cool this fact is or how badly i want one. it's probably self-evident. the terrafugia transition is a car and light aircraft. the two-seater uses front wheel drive and gets 30 miles to the gallon on the highway and is
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apparently a nice ride. when it pulls up to the air strip, drops its electric wings and prepares for takeoff, well, happens pretty fast. it drops its rear propeller and flies up to 465 mile range. easy enough to get me up to the adirondacks, with a cruising speed of 170 miles per hour. total cost of finally traveling like the jetsons, not as bad as you might think, out of my league, $194,000 for the flying car. i think we'll wait for the price to come down. our garage today, a classroom. fix it weekday three. education at the top of our stack. many of our schools as we know and many of the systems stuck in the 1950s. have we had a president since eisenhauer that actually sought to transition anything? it's as's as going from black and white from what i'm told, and switching to color. this we'll discuss right after this. i'm a random windstorm. shaky! shaky! shaky! shaky!
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all right. welcome back. day three in the fix it week garage. nice to see you. how you doing? don't adjust your tv. today we have indeed gone old school to try to demonstrate the kind of revolution that's needed in america's educational system. the numbers quite simply are startling, and we have some flashcards here to help us all learn some of the facts about our educational system. first, let's see how much we spend on education compared to other developed democracies. you think we're at the top or the bottom? well, as a percentage of our gdp we spend the second most of any developed country. only iceland spends more than we do. so we spend a ton of money, much like we do, number one in spending on health care, for instance, so what do we get for all this money that we spend? well, when it comes to high school graduation rates, we're 19th in the world. that's not that good. for college graduates, second most in the world spent, we get
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15th. and when it comes to the average educational achievement of a 15-year-old, again, only iceland spends more, spend a lot of money on our kids, feels good, but the outcomes are not there. we are the seventh worst among oecd countries in the world when it comes to the achievement of an average 15-year-old. somewhere right now in "good morning america" doesn't make the grade. what are the problems holding our educational system back? we would like to see it higher function. well, first, there's room for at least criticism if not debate and outright change in our spending priorities. this is more of a problem of how we spend our money than how much money we spend in that we overspend compared to other oecd nations by a huge margin on non-teaching. think athletic fields,
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buildings, non-teaching staff. we spend more than $10,000 on each student in fact through high school which is a huge number, far more than the average in other countries, but in comparison we spend a much bigger chunk of that money on capital investments, school buildings, renovations, along with compensation, as i mentioned, for non-teaching staff. meanwhile, south korea, another -- it has its own problems, i don't want to get too crazy here, but it has one of the highest performing countries academically in science and reading, uses much more of its money on the big classroom and higher compensation for teachers and gives those teachers more time for lesson planning. we spend our money on buildings. they spend their money on teaching. second part of the problem. we have separate and egregiously unequal school systems which have had a ripple effect on our economy with parents desperately trying to move into homes they may not be able to afford simply to try to get their kids into a decent school difference. think about the difference --
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i'm not even going to get into this. i'm sure you understand what i'm talking about. finally, what malcolm gladwell calls the teacher quarterback problem. in short, it's very difficult to tell a good teacher from a bad teacher until they are actually in the game. and so until you get more people through the room and see who is good at teaching kids, it's very difficult to reward and create teachers. conversely, it may actually be time for some of our old teachers to hit the showers. what's clear, however you look at this, is that much like with our power grid or our deficit or some of the other issues that we discuss ad nauseum sometimes on this show, our educational system is in desperate need of change. we spend a pile of money. we get very little. it sounds inefficient, doesn't it in the change we need, pretty simply, like going from black and white over to color. but we must move ourselves from an educational system designed for the 1950s under eisenhower
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to a vibrant learning environment that's honest about all the opportunity and all the information that's available to everybody in the world in the 21st century, to create leaders for that society. earlier today i spoke with educational secretary -- actually last night, education secretary arne duncan and started by asking him if he agreed with the assessment of our problem. >> i think, dylan, you did a fascinating summary of the challenges we face, and i feel a huge sense of urgency. i think we have to educate our way to a better economy. america has lagged while other countries have passed us by, and by every measure you talked about, whether it's high school graduation rates or dropout rates, college graduation rates that are too low, 15-year-olds not competing with their peers around the country, if we want to be economically competitive and give our students a chance to compete in a global marketplace, we have to do a dramatically better job of educating america's youth and we're committed to doing that. >> how much the problems that you describe are a function of the fact that we could have two
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7-year-old girls, two 10-year-old boys, one is born to a wealthy school district where there's lots of opportunity and lots of attention and lots of cultivation of his or her ideas and an identical 7 or 10-year-old who simply was born to a less wealthy environment is not given any of those same options. it's almost as if the plan for american education was to ed kaigts kate the rich and to leave the poor student which doesn't strike me as a good plan for the democracy. i'm sure you would agree with that. >> absolutely. as you know, dylan, education has to be the great equalizener our country, has to be the one thing whether you're lower class, middle class of the wealthy, every child in our country deserves to have a world class education, and so we have to raise standards. we have to raise expectations for every single child, particularly for those coming from disadvantaged communities. we have to expect the best. we have to give them the resources and opportunities to be successful, and for all the challenges we face, we have actually never had more
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high-performing, high-poverty schools around the country than we do today. the chalg earnings are real and stark. i'm actually very hopeful and optimistic. we know what works, and we have to take what works to scale. move from pockets of excellence, to islands of excellence and systems of excellence and that's exactly what we're doing. >> what's the current barrier to your next step in that plan? >> there are many challenges and i'll walk through them. right now we're worried about a massive loss of teacher jobs around the country. due to the very tough economies at the state and local level, we're worried about as many as a couple hundred thousand teachers being laid off going into the fall and pushing congress very hard to take emergency legislation, not to have class skies rocket and not to eliminate summer school and9gv extracurriculars. we can't afford to take a step backwards. second we have to raise the bar, college ready standards for every single child and we need
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real honest conversations around a stubbornly large achievement gap and we have to challenge the status quo. we have a relatively number of small schools, 2,000 high schools in our country produce half. 50% of our nation's dropouts and almost 75% of our dropouts from the minority community are african-american, latt know, young boys and girls. we have to do much better for those students, for their families, for the neighborhoods. we have to be willing to challenge the status quo and come back with schools that do a much better job of helping every single child to fulfill their great academic and social potential. >> in order to do that, and that strikes me as biggest problem, the last one you described as also the most difficult to fix, in order to do that, don't you have to do one of two things which is to end the credit casino that's driven housing prices out of control so you have these massive distortions that create really good schools that everybody is competing to get to and crappy schools in the cities, or instead of busing people from the cities to the
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wealthy schools, is it time at this point if we're going to allow the housing market to run wild on government credit lent out by bankers, shouldn't we at the very least be busing some of the money from the wealthy schools back to the other school districts as opposed to busing the 10-year-olds out to the suburbs? >> well, what we have to do is we have to create equality of opportunity, and the bottom line, dylan, every school needs to offer a world class education. shouldn't matter again, rural, suburban >> i get that. how do you do that? the what is easy. what is the how? >> you make sure that the underserved communities have wrap-around services. schools with community services -- >> paid for by who? >> paid for at the local level, at state level and at the federal level. we all have to step up and support those efforts. we have to create incentives for the hardest working and most committed teachers and principals to go into those historically underserved communities, inner city, or
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rural. we need to close the opportunity gap. great teachers make a huge, huge difference in students' lives. they have been very few incentives for that great talent to go where it is needed most. we're reversing that and putting huge amount of money behind the schools and districts willing to challenge the fat issus quo and bring greater resources to the underserved communities >> and malcolm gladwell calls it the quarterback problem, can i send everybody to school and teach them all i know about teaching and until i put them in the game or in the classroom, i can't really tell who is a good teacher or not so i've got a teacher selection challenge and also have a retention challenge and then i've got an installed base of unionized tenured teachers that may not be the best qualified or the highest motivated individuals to teach. how do you get enough people through the classroom that we can really get a sense of who the great teachers are and who the ones are, and how do you get rid of the ones that aren't? >> let me tell you who is doing this extraordinarily well and this should be the model for the
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country. in the state of louisiana teachers are tracked to their students so we know which teachers are producing the students that are learning the most. they are showing the most growth each other and those teachers are tracked back to their schools of education so we know which schools of education are producing the teachers that are producing the students that are learning the most. >> great. >> and in real time you have schools of education changing and upgrading and strengthening curriculum based on the results not that they are just alawmaker any but students of alumni. what is happening in louisiana should be the norm for the country. right now we have one state doing it. they don't have some patent on some fantastic technology. they don't have any genius idea. what they have had is the courage to deal with this systemically. hundreds of thousands of student records, tens of thousands of teacher records. they are getting a very, very clear picture of who is producing the most effective teachers. that has to become the norm. not the exception. >> secretary duncan, we can't thank you enough not only for sharing some time with us but for your passion and for keeping us educated on your efforts to
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deal with our educational system. u.s. education secretary arne duncan. thank you, sir. >> thanks so much for the opportunity. >> and joining us now here in the garage, nicholas negroponte, one of the leadering pioneers in the development of digital technology and around the world. he is the founder of mit media lab and his latest effort combines charity with technology. neglect ponty is on a mission to get every child in the world one of these laptops. also with us from chicago, a monwho is where the rubber meets the wore, tim king. this year mr. king, 100% of the graduating class from the charter school he founded in chicago's south side is headed to college. a pleasure to have you both. nicholas, i want to begin with you. why is this computer so widely adapted in place -- in countries around the world, uruguay and peru, that there's incredible implementation of this computer
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and yet we don't see it in our own country? >> well, one of the things that they benefit from is sort of starting from scratch, looking at education very differently. so to give every child a laptop in the case of rwanda, which is one of the countries, is for them leap-frogging, and they can do it for the whole country, and in the case of uruguay every single child, 100%, not 95%, has one of these little green laptops and they take them home. they have them seven days a week. it's not part of the classroom. it's part of their life. >> these aren't wealthy countries. these are countries that tend to be poorer, have government corruption, all sorts of problems in those countries, and yet is this expensive, and if it's not expensive, why, why do they have it and why is an implementation like that not even discussed in this country? >> it's not expensive if you buy it. it costs under $200, but looking at it more in terms of
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maintenance and delivery and the connectivity and all of that, it's $1 a week. now $1 a week can be afforded by peru and peru by the end of this year will have about a million of them. the reason those countries do it is that they are willing to take a risk. in some sense they are so far behind peru was one of the lowest of all 200 countries, so they said we've got to do something bold. the united states, you know, things aren't that bad. you know, we're moving deck chairs around. it's in general okay. >> how much of it is a function of all the school districts and the fact that the money for education in this country comes from real estate taxes? elizabeth warren, and i want to get your take on this, mr. king, as well. from eliz wet warren's book "the two-income trap." families with children are tightening the belt one more notch. to try to get into the best possible school district that they can get into. families are in financial trouble, not because they are irresponsible but because they are too responsible.
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they're trying to do it for the kids. how much of a factor is the income structure? >> this school has 19,000 school districts, 5% of the world. 5% of the world and 50% of the school districts. when i go over the world i talk to one school district i talk to one person and when i go to rwanda i talk with one person. that comes with its liabilities as well as its benefits. it allows change to happen. you can't start negotiating with each school district about textbooks and about laptops and everybody is an expert on education because we've all been there and most of us have children, so there are just many things in this country and the real estate tax issue is a very serious one. i mean, it's unbelievable. when you tell somebody from a foreign country that you come from some place whose school system is based on real estate taxes, they look at you as if you come from a different planet. how is that possible? >> mr. king, you've overcome a stack of variables, not the --
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not the least has been touched by mr. negroponte here to what do you attribute your ability to succeed in the face of the adversity that you continue to succeed in the face of, specifically lack of resources? >> even though -- [ no audio ] >> apparently i'm not the only one who can't hear mr. king. when you look at situations, when somebody is able to achieve success and defeat what malcolm gladwell calls the quarterback problem, create good teaching, good experiences in the classroom, to what do you attribute those successes and failures? what's determinative when it comes to the rubber on the road? >> well, i make a big distinction between learning and teaching because a lot of learning happens without teaching, and most of our discussions, most of your discussions have been about
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making better teachers, which i'm all for and so on, but if we looked at what constitutes learning, it's basically about passion. it's not about rote. rote is the killer, and if anything we could change in education would be what i would call the death of rote because we get children to memorize things because we can test that, but we don't want a learned society, and all due respect to korea we don't want to emulate them. we want a creative society. we want a society where kids know how to think on their feet, where there's complexity and contradiction. >> adoptability. >> you name it, all those things. you know, if i do very well on a test score where you're testing me on what i memorized, not only i do not necessarily make part of a creative society, you may have already whipped it out of me, so i'll learn math but i'll hate mathematics. i'll learn geography names but
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hate understanding what the planet looks like, and that's what has to change in my opinion, and -- and school is one element. family is another element, and in the parts of the world where we are, which are desperately poor. we're in afghanistan. we're in ethiopia. we're in places where they are spending not even $100 per child. in afghanistan, 25% of the teachers are illiterate. the next 25% are one year ahead of the child, so if it's a fourth grade teacher, the teacher has had a fifth grade education. >> and you're getting these computers in afghanistan? >> we are determined to. we're determined to do every child in afghanistan in the next two years, and it's a very simple formula. the united states today is spending $2 billion a week on war. it's a little less than that, but rounded up to 2 billion. the united states spends less than $2 million a week on
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education. 2 billion, 2 million. mr. president, move 1% from column "a" to column "b" and every child will have a connected laptop in afghanistan in less than 18 months. now that's education because you can't do it by building schools. you've got to leverage the children, just the same way the children learn how to speak. the children learn how to walk. the children can learn how to read. i can show you children who have learned how to read and write in one month without a teacher. >> and it's not because they are a genius. it's because the environment they were learning it made it easier to learn. >> and there was reason to do it. they could communicate. >> there's the passion. a real pleasure and honor. >> my pleasure. thanks a lot. >> nicholas negroponte. here are some of our solutions, and we'll bring mr. king back at another time because i am sure you are anxious to hear what he had to say. i want to do it in a time where we really can obviously hear the man. we have to balance our education
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funding. 919,000 school districts make it almost impossible to actually create any severance fairness or opportunity, let alone renovation of the system. 19,000 cooks is simply too many in the kitchen. boost investment in teaching and to take a cue from my friend nicholas, learning. so that you're aware of the environment of learning, not just working on the technicalities of teaching, and when it comes to the quarterback problem, there's an initiative called try teaching which leads us nicely to what you can do. learn, educate yourself about this critical problem. learn more about what nicholas was talking about. go not only to searches and ideas about nicholas negroponte and his work at m.i.t., there's other people particularly in the technology universe, the bill and melinda gates foundation has great information. they, among others, good places to simply learn some of the things that exist. if we don't learn ourselves, how can we possibly solve or act on
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any of the problems that we face as a country? once you learn then start thinking about acting. as we have said several times now, give teaching a try. we don't know who is a good teacher, and there's a lot of folks out of work in this country right now. for all we know you are a great teacher, but we wouldn't know until you actually tried teaching. check out the try teaching initiative, and finally the one lap per child is a great place to start when it comes to giving. these computers go an incredibly long way. you can learn vastly more about them. again, if you're looking for a place to give or a way to give, this is certainly a good option, and also teach for america which is a program that recruits recent college grads to teach in low-income communities. all of those opportunities for all of us to learn, act and give to solve the problem of an educational system that puts our own country at risk, our own democracy at risk simply because we have not engaged in a way that gets us out of the 1950s. we can do better.
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welcome back. breaking news developing in our country as hurricane alex is expected to make landfall this evening. one of the areas under gun is brownsville, texas. the mayor joins us right now. how are preparations? >> pretty good, dylan. we've gone all the pre-planning and the preparation before the hurricane, and we're just wa waiting to here for the winds and rain which we're already getting. we're getting some rainfall, 6 to 12 inches, possibly 20 inches. we have some areas of flood right now along the streets, but we're handling it pretty well. pretty well prepared, and we've executed our plan as we're supposed, to and i think we're doing fine. >> is there any issue with the oil? >> no. at this point, no. the hurricane alex is about 120 miles to the south, and it's --
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it looks like it's going to go to the west, so i don't think it's going to be an issue for us here. it would be headed more north. we have a shrimping industry, a live shrimping industry down here, and it would be devastating to us if the hurricane headed north and brought us the oil spill, so thank god that -- that this hurricane is going to hit land about midnight tonight, probably go into the mountains and not affect the shrimping industry down here or the shipping industry. >> is there even a contingency that a man in your situation could provide other than hoping and praying that the hurricane doesn't head in the wrong direction for something like oil coming into your harbor or any other harbor along the gulf as we go through the hurricane season? can you do anything to prevent it? >> no. there's nothing we can do. those circumstances are beyond our control other than relying on the federal government and british petroleum to do what it needs to do to collect the oil before it gets here or do -- do something to divert it, but
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those things are beyond our control. mother nature and the private industry are in control right now, and right now mother nature is working in our favor. >> got it. last but not least, flooding risk obviously comes with a storm like this. are you prepared for that and how high is the risk? >> ask the question again. i didn't get it. >> is there a flooding risk? >> yes. there's a big flooding risk here in south texas but brownsville is well prepared. we have oxbow lakes that serve as a reservoir and also serve as a drainage way of handling the rains. we drained the oxbow lakes and dump it into the river and it goes into the rose and makes room for the rainfall, and the runoff goes into the lakes and it keeps us dry. hopefully, we can keep up with the rain and keep our city dry. >> understood, mr. mayor. we h

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